ABC was the first to secure the rights to a nationally televised interview with Sarah Palin on her vice president nomination. They aired the two of the three interviews on Thursday, September 11.
Below are excerpts from Charlie Gibson’s interview with Gov. Palin. More to come later.
Question on viability as President:
Question on Iraq and Holy War:
The media was hot to jump on these interviews, including ABC’s own Russell Goldman who reviewed Palin’s answers from the first two interview on September 11, 2008. There are probably much more dissections and interpretations to follow The most recent and exhaustive comes from the Associated Press, September 12, 2008:
McCain has defended her qualifications, citing her command of the Alaska National Guard and Alaska’s proximity to Russia.
Asked whether those were sufficient credentials, Palin said: “It is about reform of government and it’s about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues.” She said she brings expertise in making the country energy independent as a former chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
She acknowledged that national security encompasses more than energy but said: “I want you to not lose sight of the fact that energy is a foundation of national security.”
Palin said other than a trip to visit soldiers in Kuwait and Germany last year – “a trip of a lifetime” that “changed my life” – her only other foreign travel was to Mexico and Canada. She also said she had never met a head of state and added: “If you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you.”
Pressed about what insights into recent Russian actions she gained by living in Alaska, Palin answered: “They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
Foreign policy questions dominated the first of three interviews Palin was giving Gibson over two days.
In the interview Thursday, Palin:
_Appeared unsure of the Bush doctrine – essentially that the United States must help spread democracy to stop terrorism and that the nation will act pre-emptively to stop potential foes.
Asked whether she agreed with that, Palin said: “In what respect, Charlie?” Gibson pressed her for an interpretation of it. She said: “His world view.” That prompted Gibson to say “no, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war” and describe it to her.
“I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation,” Palin said, though added “there have been mistakes made.”
Pressed repeatedly on whether the United States could attack terrorist hideouts in Pakistan without the country’s permission, she said: “If there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.”
_Said nuclear weapons in Iran’s hands are dangerous, and said “we’ve got to put the pressure on Iran.” Asked three times what her position would be if Israel felt threatened enough to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, Palin repeatedly said the United States shouldn’t “second guess” Israel’s steps to secure itself.
_Called for Georgia and the Ukraine to be included in NATO, a treaty that requires the U.S. to defend them militarily. She also said Russia’s attack into Georgia last month was “unprovoked.” Asked to clarify that she’d support going to war over Georgia, she said: “Perhaps so.”
“I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help,” she said.
_Said she “didn’t hesitate” when McCain asked her to be his running mate. “I answered him ‘yes’ because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink. So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.”
_Contradicted an assertion she made at her former church that “our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Asked whether she thought the United States was fighting a holy war, she said she meant to convey that she agreed with Abraham Lincoln’s quote that “I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.”
Later, in the second interview, Palin said she broke from McCain on climate change and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. McCain has said humans have caused climate change and the federal government shouldn’t permit drilling in the federally protected wildlife reserve.
Palin, however, said: “I believe that man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change. … Regardless though of the reason for climate change, whether it’s entirely, wholly caused by man’s activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet – the warming and the cooling trends – regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we gotta do something about it.”
On ANWR, she said: “We’ll agree to disagree but I’m gonna keep pushing that and I think eventually we’re all gonna come together on that one.”
We’ll try to have the entire video of the first day up soon.
Update by Nate
The first interview excerpt was aired in two parts on Thursday night’s World News Tonight. The above videos were also excerpts from ABC News. I did manage to find the entire first part, which is actually 10 minutes long, in it’s entirety:
Here is the entire second part which aired Thursday on World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson:
Clearly there were numerous edits to fit some juicy questions into the 30 minute broadcast. The entire thing is supposed to air tonight (Friday) at 10pm eastern on 20/20. We’ll have the complete video from tonight once it airs.
Update by Nate (Day 2)
Another clip from Friday’s World News Tonight on abortion and other issues:
Still waiting for the entire hour long interview on 20/20 at 10pm eastern on ABC. I will have the entire hour uploaded once it airs for your examination.